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Music & art create one of a kind fest

Ramblin’ Mutts Blues Band from Gainesville performing at the 2016 Live Oak JAB Festival.    - SVT Photo by Garbielle Stevenson

Jazz and blues guitarist, Ted Shumate performing at 2016 JABFest. -Photo by Gabrielle Stevenson

By Gabrielle Stevenson

Live Oak’s Third Annual Jazz, Arts and Blues Festival (JAB Fest) was a success once again and drew many visitors to the area from all over Florida and out of state as well. The two day event, held October 21 and 22, featured quality jazz and blues musicians and bands along with talented artists specializing in multiple mediums.

Live Oak City Councilman and JAB Fest Chairman Keith Mixon said, “It is an awesome festival. The music and performances have been beyond fantastic. The talent has been incredible and folks in the park are having a ball. Most of these folks are not from here and it achieves, really, what I was trying to do. I was trying to bring people to Live Oak and it worked.” Mixon also said the key to building festivals like this is stick with it and the numbers will continue to grow. He explained, “We did the numbers and to have the quality bands we’ve got it would’ve cost us over $275,000 if we paid them what we normally charge. I know most of the bands and promoters. They see North Florida as being a treasure trove eventually for jazz and blues. That’s why they’re here.”
One difference many noted from the past two festivals was how much the art side of the festival has grown and the talent displayed within. One such vendor was Charles Carman Pierce of Blountstown, Florida. He specializes in portraits, plein air in charcoal, pastels and oils. He said he was invited to the festival by JAB Fest Art Director Anda Chance.

Pierce talked about his love of art and described it as an excellent therapy. He said, “Portraits are what I’ve done since I was fifteen and learned how to draw. That was in 1957. Art takes you out of the moment to where you want to be, in your own moment. The rest of the world just goes by as it is and then who cares,” he laughed.

A new artist vendor to JAB Fest, Louisa Clingan, said she discovered JAB Fest after moving back to Suwannee County in March.

Clingan commented, “It’s so nice to have something close to come to. It’s been great to have the music. I’ve loved it. I love downtown Live Oak too, it almost looks like a postcard.” Clingan specializes in mediums of inks and acrylic paints in pointillism art, which she discovered her love for while in high school. Pointillism is dot art and Clingan uses a variety of mediums from paper and canvas, to natural wood, rock and ostrich egg surfaces to create her unique style. She uses Micron pens for much of her work, specifically designed for pointillism art. When asked what inspires her to create so many different themes throughout her work she replied, “To prove to myself that I don’t get stuck on one subject.”

Keith Mixon said, “If you weren’t here, you missed an awesome opportunity to hear some of the most professional bands you will ever hear for free. The sponsors and the volunteers really stepped up. What phenomenal people.” To find out more about the festival, visit

JAB Fest artist vendor, Louisa Clingan, below, stands among her artwork. One of the unique mediums she works on are ostrich eggs, pictured above. - SVT Photos by Gabrielle Stevenson

Charles Carman Pierce creating a charcoal portrait at the 2016 JABFest.
-Photo by Gabrielle Stevenson